Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Škoda’s new model is safely able to compete

Škoda’s new model is safely able to compete

IT’S always an intriguing prospect when a brand new model — that is, a first generation car with no “baggage” attached — comes to the market.

Every new car carries its brand culture, image and indeed antecedents with it, so maybe in the car market as with anything else there is nothing entirely new under the sun.

However, the Škoda Scala, which has a nice alliteration to it, is a new hatchback and is “positioned” between the Czech carmaker’s Fabia and Octavia.

Although it might prove difficult to be absolutely “new”, the Scala introduces a host of exciting new features to the sector.

I have been continuously impressed by Škoda’s model range in recent years, especially its SUVs (sport utility vehicles).

This new hatchback pitches itself into what is a massively competitive sector — to put it mildly.

But here Škoda claims that the Scala “sets new benchmarks in the compact segment”. Now that has to be in new technology, connectivity and the very function of everything in the car.

Certainly, in one department — that of safety — the Scala has emerged with flying colours. It received the highest rating of five stars in tests by the independent European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

This puts it among the safest vehicles in its category. The Scala scored especially high in the Euro NCAP test assessments of adult occupant safety and cyclist safety.

In this category, the car received a score of 97 per cent of all possible points — one of the highest ratings in the history of the Euro NCAP.

When you get inside the Scala, front or back, you are immediately struck by its interior space, which is surrounded by top-rated protection.

In a new car for 2020 and beyond you would expect nothing less. But for Škoda it must be comforting to get such an endorsement from official test programmes.

Christian Strube of Škoda Technical Development said: “With the Scala we have introduced several new assistance systems to the compact class, which had previously been available exclusively for vehicles in higher segments.”

Customers can choose from engine options with power outputs ranging from 95PS to 150PS. The petrol range consists of two 1.0 TSI units with 95PS and 115PS and a 1.5 TSI engine with 150PS.

The Scala’s diesel option is a 1.6 TDI unit that generates 115PS. All engines, with the exception of the 1.0 TSI 95PS, are available with an optional seven-speed DSG transmission.

Both the Scala and the Škoda Kamiq now enable drivers to connect a smartphone to their car using wireless technology. They are the first models to offer the new Wireless SmartLink technology.

The Scala is the first production model in Europe to bear the Škoda wordmark on its tailgate instead of the brand’s logo.

There are LED headlights and tail lights as well as animated rear indicators (standard on SE L) plus alloy wheels and 12 available body colours.

The Scala exemplifies the Czech carmaker’s reputation for providing numerous storage compartments. The car also has one of the largest boots in the segment (467 litres), which increases to 1,410 litres with the split back seats folded down.

The Scala’s dashboard features a free-standing central screen. Measuring up to 9.2 inches (Amundsen unit, standard on the SE L), the ultra-clear screen is positioned high up and in clear view of the driver.

The Scala has its share of intelligent Simply Clever touches — an excellent feature of the full model range.

These include an electric tailgate that includes a tip-to-close function and an electrically retractable towbar. Both features are new to the segment.

The Scala also features an ice scraper with a tyre tread depth gauge, along with an integrated funnel in the lid of the windscreen washer tank.

Thanks to its integrated LTE eSIM, the Scala is always online and, in addition to the eCall, it provides access to Škoda Connect’s mobile online services such as Infotainment Online with Infotainment Apps.

These can be downloaded from the shop or Care Connect with remote vehicle access and the Proactive Service feature. Wireless SmartLink technology, a Wi-Fi hotspot and USB-C ports are also available.

Factfile

Škoda Scala 1.6 TDI 115PS

Price of test car with options fitted: £22,305

Colour: Corrida Red

Combined mpg: 57.7-53.3mpg

CO2: 108g/km

Max speed: 125mph

0-62 mph: 10.1 seconds

Advanced range of technology, including safety and convenience systems

Three trim grades; S, SE and SE L

Engine choice with outputs from 95PS to 150PS and DSG options

Options include Virtual Cockpit and Panoramic roof

Motoring

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